SPUG: Minimal Perl web site & notification requests

Allison Randal allison at perl.org
Sun Jun 12 14:49:26 PDT 2005

On Jun 12, 2005, at 8:22, Tim Maher wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 11, 2005 at 07:21:06PM -0700, Mike McLaughlin wrote:
>> Imagine how much cheaper and quicker it would be if they didn't use
>> MS-word.
> And used what other "standard format" instead?  Like it or not,
> standards are important, and MS-Word is the current standard for the
> publishing industry.

How about POD or Docbook XML? O'Reilly handles both, but I tend to 
encourage my authors to go with POD, because it's easier to work with. 
(Three cheers for source control on plain text formats. :)

Oddly, some authors prefer Word. This I will never understand, but I 
work with it because it's important for authors to be comfortable with 
whatever format they're using. (Writing is hard enough without having 
to slug your way through tools you hate.)

Ultimately, I think the tech publishing industry will move away from 
Word. Not tomorrow, not in the next 6 months, and probably not even in 
the next 6 years. But younger and hungrier publishers are coming along 
with innovative and agile publishing strategies that beat the pants off 
the established publishing industry (Pragmatic Bookshelf is one great 
example). They depend on text-based formats, source control, and 
automated build processes. It's about time tech publishers started 
using the technologies they're publishing about. :)

Just my $0.02,

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